Hamilton warns Mercedes of wake-up call from McLaren


"We need to do more," Lewis Hamilton urges his team as McLaren leapfrogs the German outfit at Silverstone.

As it seeks to rediscover its Barcelona form, and thereby close the gap to Red Bull, Mercedes has found itself leapfrogged by McLaren, a move that the seven-time world champion insists must serve as a "wake-up" call.

Hamilton's cry comes just seven days after his team suffered a bruising day in Austria, once again suggesting that the W14 is a circuit specific car.

It was in Austria that McLaren began its much-anticipated programme of upgrades and while the Woking outfit failed to capitalise on them at the Red Bull Ring, qualifying at Silverstone, where both drivers had the package, suggests the Woking team has taken a step forward.

Though Aston Martin appears to have lost ground, Red Bull aside, Hamilton fears that Ferrari and McLaren may now be edging ahead.

Asked if it was a blow to see the McLaren's second and third on the grid, while he and his teammate could only manage sixth and seventh, Hamilton insisted: "It's not a blow, it's just a wake-up call for us.

"Others are overtaking us, we need to do more," he added.

"If you look at the car it makes sense," he continued, "if you put it alongside a Red Bull it's looks very, very similar down the sides. It's working, and that's great, to have them up in the mix, which is what we want to see in this sport. I'm really happy for them, they've had a bad run for so long. To be back up there is really, really great to see.

"Where I was, was the best I could do," he admitted. "I will try and be optimistic and do our best but realistically it will be difficult to get past the two Ferraris and we have now got two McLarens there. It's going to be a tough race."

"From what you see from the outside, which is only half of the information, the car looks like a Red Bull," said Toto Wolff. "To be honest, it doesn't matter, because only the stopwatch counts.

"This is what I guess Lewis was referring to, because this design seems to be a good direction. But it is easier said than done and each of us had bodywork that looked like the Red Bull in the tunnel and it didn't come in up in performance. So, you have got to leave no stone unturned and maybe do it again because another team has just found a second in performance."

Indeed, looking at the success Aston Martin has been enjoying, Wolff is encouraged that can still be made under the regulations.

"It is very encouraging to see that Aston Martin found massive chunks of lap time from last year to this year, and in the same way you see in the season McLaren doing that.

"That is something that you need to take your hat off to, and if we see that consolidating, certainly for us it is a good example of how you can turn around things."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone here.

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Published: 09/07/2023
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